One of the most common questions when starting out is how much it will cost to start a dating app. There are 3 main areas to consider when calculating how much it costs to start a dating app
1. Dating App Development Costs
2. Marketing/User Acquisition Costs
3. Admin and Ancillary Costs
How much a dating app costs to develop can vary widely depending on how complex your idea is and where you chose to have your app developed. Simple clones of the popular app Tinder can be cost as little as a few thousand dollars. There are plenty of companies out there which will add your preferred branding, logo and colour scheme and upload it to the app & play store. Of course with no unique selling point making your app stand out from the crowd and become a success will be difficult. On the other hand developing a unique idea will make your dating app cost more but it might have a better of a chance of success. This is where the location of the developers you chose is going to make the biggest difference in costs.
How much does it cost to develop a dating app in the US/Western Europe?
Developing your dating app in US or Western Europe is going to be the most expensive option available. Whilst there are advantages with using devs in your home country; no language barrier, no time difference, face to face meetings etc. For most startups the costs will outweigh the benefits. These days skilled developers can be found across the globe and you no longer need to be in one of the traditional "tech hub" cities (London, San Francisco, Berlin etc.) to get the talent you need. To get a basic to mid level app launched using western developers is going to cost between $70-150,000.
How much does it cost to develop a dating app in Eastern Europe?
Eastern European countries like Poland, Romania and Ukraine have strong up and coming development scenes, Poland in fact is quite mature with a lot of multinationals and big corporates basing their IT departments in the country. Eastern Europe also has the benefits of being on similar time schedules for Western Europe and the Middle East with only a couple of hours difference. Prices in Poland will be higher than Romania which are higher then Ukraine. Romania is probably one of the most popular options because of it's low cost, EU membership and deep pool of developers with great technical skills as well as English language ability. Developing a dating app in Romania is going to cost between $30-70,000. Some of the feedback from those who have outsourced to Romania is the devs generally have a good grasp of the big picture and will help anticipate problems and adapt flexibly.
How much does it cost to develop a dating app in India?
Outsourcing dating app development to India is something a lot of founders consider. India has long marketed itself as a strong destination for all kinds of dev work with hardworking engineers, lots of competition and low prices. Initial quoted prices in India can even come in below Eastern Europe. However there might be associated costs which increase the overall price of developing your dating app in India. Language, time zone and cultural differences might delay delivery of your dating app, or mean it doesn't quite meet the spec you intended leading to project over runs so consider this when forecasting your overall costs. As a rough guide expect a similar price to Eastern Europe at around $40-80,000 to develop your dating app when factoring in a few adjustments.
Dating App Marketing and User Acquisition Costs
Once you have your app up and running the next biggest cost will be getting users onto the app. User acquisition for dating apps is more difficult and more costly than gaming apps and dating apps are dependant on the network effect to be successful. Gamers can be half the world away and it won't affect game play, if daters aren't within ~15km of each other they won't see much value in each other. Add to that the paradox of success, that a happy couple will leave your app unlike most apps where happy customers stay longer or pay for an upgrade and you have to be very particular with your acquisition spending. For more advice see our guide on keeping user acquisition costs to a minimum.
Admin and Ancillary costs can vary enormously. Since the Covid Pandemic WFH has become more and more accepted and has proven to work well. This has saved a major cost that many startups face, namely office space. Other than that you can be as frugal or lavish as your tastes desire and budget permits. During the early stages you can make do with simple solutions and/or doing a lot yourself as a founder although it's often a suboptimal use of your time. If and when you choose to outsource things like customer service, moderation, recruitment etc. you will need to carefully chose partners that deliver your required service levels while keeping costs to a minimum. This is where Global Dating Accelerator can help with trusted partners who are experts in the dating space and exclusive discounts for our members which can really help to minimise the costs of starting a dating app.
If you are looking for trusted developers for your dating app idea. need expert advice on user acquisition strategies from industry veterans or would like discounts on cloud hosting or SEO & ASO services contact us today.